Mike Ludwig of Truth Out has a wonderful article exploring the reasons why the Drug War is still around despite the fact that most people agree it’s been a total failure. He points to the global consensus now versus 18 years ago, when the UN pushed the dangerous, reckless idea of a “drug-free world” within 10 years. Now, many UN members have admitted that the Drug War has been a blood-soaked disaster, and are looking for alternatives to Prohibition. The taboo on marijuana use is slowly evaporating as more states look to legalize medical and recreational use. So the question of the persistence of the Drug War in the face of the rising consensus against it has an answer that I haven’t heard enough from people who write on the subject. The answer is this: The War on Drugs is jobs program. Forty years of waging that war domestically as well as internationally has given the green light for the creation of the vast bureaucracy needed to effectively enforce Prohibition. Now, that bureaucracy needs Prohibition to maintain its power. Indeed, all levels of government benefit from this backdoor into its citizens lives and liberties. Just think: without the Drug War, how many 3am, no-knock raids would occur by a militarized gang of cops? How many drug-sniffing dogs would the police employ? How many machine guns, tanks, and other weapons of war would find their way into local police departments? How much civil asset forfeiture would take place with a Drug War to provide the excuse? The answer is obvious. But it is also obvious how much government at all levels benefits from the Drug War. Just think of the billions spent yearly in the U.S. on enforcing Prohibition. Think of the thousands of employees that serve Prohibition, and of all the various departments that have a finger in the pie. It’s mind-boggling, to think of all the power and jobs hinging on continuation of the Drug War.
THIS is why the Drug War exists now; to fuel a Surveillance/Police State, to give the excuse for tactics that have no place in a free society. They know the Drug War is a failure at preventing drug use, they don’t care. For the State, the Drug War has succeeded enormously, because it has provided them with exactly what they’ve always wanted: power. The bureaucracy that now exists due to the Drug War will fight tooth and nail to prevent the death of its Golden Goose.